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South Africa

Summer Internship

Session I: July 15-August 5, 2023

Program Overview


In South Africa, we have built a Sport for Development Internship Program available to both athletes and non-athletes. Students are placed with one of the many innovative, non-profit organizations in Cape Town that use sports to advance the prosperity of the community. Students will engage deeply with their partner organization, and also gain a broad knowledge of the sport for development scene in Cape Town.

Our South Africa Internship is open to ALL majors!


  • Choose from a dozen different inspiring sport for development organizations in Cape Town.

  • Keep up with off-season training alongside athletes from across the U.S.

  • Make a lasting impact in the community through your internship and service projects

  • Enjoy Cape Town's vibrant city life, amazing beaches, and an endless list of weekend activities.

  • Day trips included: Hiking Table Mountain, Wildlife Safari, Robben Island Tour, Boulder's Beach to see African Penguins

  • Weekend excursion to Wilderness Beach along the Indian Ocean


Winner of the 2018

Innovative Program Award!


Program Description


We partner with sport for development non-profit organizations in Cape Town to provide hands-on internships. The work includes a combination of supporting the organization's daily operations and completing an independent project to address a specific challenge. Example internship projects include event planning, website and social media improvement, newsletters system design, grant writing, monitoring and evaluation systems, and partnership development.

On a daily basis, interns dedicate the morning to a project with fellow students and SAA staff in a lab setting at Inyathelo: The South Africa Institute for Advancement. In the afternoon, students visit their respective organization's site to help with operations and better understand the potential implementation of their projects.


Students stay in the dorm-style accommodations and are provided breakfast and dinner seven days a week. The dorms include a shared kitchen and WiFi accessibility. And laundry is available once per week.

Athletics Abroad

You will have a gym membership at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa, so can maintain your training by working out 4-5x per week.


 Our local staff will take you on weekend excursions which include: hiking Table Mountain, visiting Robben Island, a Wildlife Safari, visiting beaches to see African Penguins, and a weekend away at Wilderness Beach.

Internship Information

Final internship placements depend on a variety of factors. We will do our best to place you with your top choice, however, the organizations have the final decision. Contact us to learn more about the placement process!



Sport for Development, also known as Sports-Based Youth Development, is a method to initiate social change in youth in underprivileged communities by using sports as a tool to bring people together and teach lifelong skills. Our partners in Cape Town all share the common belief that sports have the power to create positive peer-to-peer relations and stimulate a desire for self-improvement.

Each organization that we work with takes a unique approach to sport for development - whether it's a soccer program dedicated to teaching youth about HIV/AIDs awareness, a basketball program keeping kids away from gangs, or a boxing program teaching girls about self-defense and women's empowerment - all these programs share the singular vision that sports have the power to change the world, one community at a time.


Project Playground

Project Playground is a non-profit organization focused on bringing structured recreational programs to youth in neighborhoods that are systematically, socially, and economically deprived. Studies show that structured recreational activities contribute to the positive development of children and increases their motivation, concentration, and ambition. Project Playground reaches local youth through free after-school activities, sports programs, and support programs five days a week and currently serves over 750 children in three townships outside of Cape Town.


The Community Health Intervention Programs (CHIPs) was launched through the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) in 1997 in the Western Cape. The vision was to develop a program that was sustainable in its ability to improve various communities' participation in physical activity. Our primary focus is to offer sustainable lifestyle intervention program to create healthier (mentally, socially, physically), empowered (demystifying science, giving personal responsibility), cohesive communities. The CHIPs program runs successfully in 36 different communities around the Western Cape, through its HealthNutz, OptiFit Outreach and Live-It-Up program.

Great Commission United

Great Commission United (GCU) was founded by a reformed gang member from the Cape Flats neighborhood of Heideveld to keep local youth away from crime and gangs in the area. GCU provides the supportive family environment that youth often lack at home and are attracted to in gangs. Soccer, basketball, and other sports play an integral role in attracting students ages 5-20 to after school programs with life skills training, tutoring, and physical exercise.

Program Rates

Program Cost: $4,995


  • Round trip airfare from hub airport (EWR) to Cape Town, South Africa (CPT)

  • Housing for the entire program

  • Breakfast and dinner, daily

  • Transport to/from Inyathelo Lab, Sports Science Institute, internship sites and included excursions

  • Excursions to Table Mountain, Robben Island, Wildlife Safari and Boulders Beach to see African Penguins

  • Internship placement and set-up

  • Gym membership and transport Monday-Friday

  • International Health Insurance

  • SAA Program T-shirt

Not Included:

  • Airfare/transportation to and from hub airport (EWR)

  • Passport and associated fees if you do not already have one

  • Lunch, daily and souvenirs/optional entertainment expenses


Enrollment Process



Complete and submit a free online application.


Schedule a phone call with one of our staff members.


Accepted students will be prompted to register through our online platform & make their initial deposit to reserve their spot.


Students will connect with their site coordinator to ask questions and learn more about the internship & course placement process.

Contact Us

Contact Us

Interested in more information? Have a question? Fill out our contact form and we'll be in touch shortly!

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